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Our Newsletter Spring 2016

Our Newsletter 

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Do-It-Yourself Methods for Maintaining Your Plumbing System this Spring

There are a lot of different things you can do to keep your plumbing system in good shape this spring, including scheduling professional maintenance and repair services for your various plumbing appliances, which we highly recommend. If you’re looking for things that you can do personally, though, we’ve got a few do-it-yourself projects that can help your plumbing system.

Spring is here, and it’s time to get your home in order for the rest of the year. It’s important that you include your plumbing system in your spring cleaning efforts, since it needs upkeep in order to operate properly. There are plenty of professional maintenance and repair services available for your plumbing system, and we encourage you to take advantage of them as much as possible. However, there are also plenty of do-it-yourself projects that can help keep your plumbing system in good shape. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

  • Boil a pot of water and pour it down the drains in your home. This helps loosen up waste that may be built up on the walls of the pipes, so it can flow through the system into the sewer line. Be careful to avoid burning yourself, though.
  • Visually check for leaks anywhere you have water appliances in your home. This includes faucets, shower heads, toilet bowls, sink pipes, and the like. There is much of your plumbing system that is hidden from view, of course, and you’re going to need professional help to fix the majority of leaks. Still, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of inspecting your plumbing system as best you can.
  • If your home has a sump pump, you can check to make sure it’s operating properly by pouring water into the sump until the pump turns on. You don’t want to find out that your pump isn’t working when you actually need it, after all.
  • Turn on all the faucets on your property to make sure that water is flowing properly through them. If a faucet is having flow problems, it may be damaged in some way.
  • Be sure to pour around a gallon of water into drains in your home that you don’t use often. This will fill the trap in the pipes, ensuring that sewer gas and such can’t make it up through the system and into your home. You shouldn’t have to worry about this with drains you use often, as they probably still have a steady supply of water to keep the trap full.
  • Inspect your water heater to make sure that it is set properly, and free of leaks. Water heaters are placed under a lot of strain throughout the year, and it’s important that you repair or replace your water heater as soon as you notice anything wrong with it.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can help keep your home’s plumbing system in good condition!

5 Remodeling Projects that Can Improve Your Return on Investment

This article includes 5 home improvement projects and remodeling projects that offer a high return on investment. First, a kitchen upgrade is something many homebuyers look for when investing in a new property. New doors and new siding are two projects with a high ROI, as is adding on a deck or patio. Finally, the article suggests that some smaller home improvements, like fresh paint, could help to increase the home’s appeal.

You’re looking for a home improvement project that you can enjoy for a few years to come, but also one that increases the property value for a future resale. Some projects have a fairly minimal return on investment, costing too much and adding too little when it’s time to sell. While projects with a low ROI are still viable options if you plan to keep the home for several years, some homeowners do not want to make a change that won’t increase the return on investment.

Here, you’ll find 5 projects that won’t break the bank and that can give your home greater appeal and value.

Upgrading the Kitchen

The look and feel of a kitchen is often the selling point for homebuyers, so even a few minor upgrades can go a long way. This is where people spend a large portion of their time at home, and they want it to be an efficient and pleasant place to cook, clean, and hang out with family. Fresh tiling, energy-efficient appliances, and an open kitchen and dining area layout are all improvements that people look for when they’re shopping for a new home.

New Doors

This is one project in which the cost of the upgrade is nearly as much as the value you’ll add. Your front door makes one of the most important first impressions for a potential buyer. In addition, updating your garage door is an excellent way to spend relatively little for a large return.

New Siding

This is often cited as having one of the highest returns on investment. Of course, if your siding is just fine as is, you should probably move on to a different home improvement project. However, new vinyl siding can be relatively inexpensive and it adds greatly to a home’s aesthetic value.

Outside Additions

One of the major benefits of adding a deck, patio, or outdoor room to your home is that it increases the square footage of your home. Quality workmanship makes all the difference when it comes to an outdoor deck or patio, so call a local contractor to get one that is custom designed for your home for a higher resale value.  

Small Changes

Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference when you are trying to sell a home. A fresh coat of paint, for example, can do a world of good for the look and feel of your home. Simply decluttering a home to take photos is an easy improvement, and it’s something you can do on your own. 

Indoor Air Quality Options that Improve Your Household

Heaters and air conditioners aren’t the only things that help your household comfort levels. Indoor air quality products, from humidifiers to air filters and cleaners, can improve your breathing, remove the stale feeling from the air and balance humidity levels to optimize comfort in your home. The benefits are innumerable, and can increase your home’s energy efficiency to boot.

We all tend to focus on temperature control when determining our household comfort levels, as well we should. Your air conditioner and heater are essential to keeping temperatures comfortable, and that’s fine. But they’re not the only systems that can help. Other problems with your indoor air quality – high amounts of dust, excessive humidity and the preponderance of germs or bacteria – can be best addressed by systems designed to cope with them. By installing them in your home, you can not only improve the quality of your indoor air, but help lower your monthly heating and cooling bills to boot.

What Kinds of Indoor Air Quality Products Are Out There?

The list of indoor air quality products is lengthy, but it can include any or all of the following:

  • Air Cleaners. Air filters are present in all heaters and air conditioners to strain contaminants out of the air. Electronic air cleaners take this a step further, using an ionization chamber to ionize particles and causing them to stick to a collection pan.
  • UV Filters. UV filters are designed specifically to address germs and other bacteria, using a field of ultraviolet light to kill or sterilize them as they circulate through your ductwork.
  • Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers. These products help address the problem of excessively dry or excessively moist air, both of which can cause considerable issues with your household comfort levels. In many cases, both devices are required: one to reduce humidity levels in the summer and one to increase them in the winter. In addition to their other benefits, they can often ease the strain on your heater or air conditioner, since humidity levels affect our perception of temperature as well.
    • Energy Recovery Ventilators and Heat Recovery Ventilators. These devices are placed in your attic and they swap out the stale air in your home with fresh air from the outside, all without affecting the indoor temperature at all. In the process, it eases the strain on your heater and air conditioner a great deal.